I loved Okami and Okamiden is an amazing sequel, which is made even more so considering it's on a hand held. I know a 10 score seems biased, but this really is a great game - it's got length, great graphics and art-style, a cool story, humorous writing and characters, and it's fun. Also, if you're needing a Zelda fix, then the Okami games are the perfect solution.
The heritage of a masterpiece such as Okami is a big burden, which Okamiden somewhat fails to fully carry on its shoulders: however, the game is so beautiful and inspiring that's easily forgiven, and it's definitely one of the best adventures on the Nintendo DS.
Much like Chibiterasu, Okamiden faithfully does the job of its predecessor, although it lacks much of the grace and poise that we saw last time from Amaterasu's adventure. Still, the feel of the franchise is intact, and that's what really matters here. With extra post-game content and plenty of quests to complete before and after the final battle, Okamiden is a solid closing entry in the original DS's history.
I can’t say Okamiden stands on its own, but when played after Okami, it’s a game that wets the appetite of those that wanted more from Okami. While a lot of the game is stuck in Okami’s shadow, it still offers exactly what Okami offered, and really that’s enough to give it a play. Also chibitersu is cute, so what’s not to love.
Unfortunately, Okamiden really can't hold a candle to the cult-classic that is Okami. Because I'm such a fan of the latter, I went through the trouble to import this from Japan (copies of this game seem really hard to come by and/or expensive in Europe nowadays). It wasn't worth it. The game was NOT designed by the original team, but by the people that handled the Wii port of Okami, and it really shows.
Okamiden is essentially a miniature, somewhat dumbed-down version of the original Okami. That goes along with the story of you controlling the child of Amaterasu, the protagonist of the first installment in the series. The world, apart from a few new dungeons, consists completely of recycled areas from the first game. Thing is, even if these areas were new to you, they are now much less fun to explore, because they have been broken up into really small chunks with loading screens in between each one. I get that this is due to the technical limitations of the DS, but man, does it stifle the feeling of freedom and discourage exploration. There also very frequent pop-ins (again, bad for exploring/finding stuff) and HUGE framerate problems. The game looks quite good for DS standards, I guess, kind of like a PS1 version of Okami, which is to say very pixelated and blocky. Thanks to the abstract art-style, the visuals survive that downgrade better than "realistic" graphics probably would have. But the point is: This would have been much better off as a 3DS game. It even came out around the same time as that console.
But then again, that would have "only" solved the technical issues, and would've been done nothing about the bigger problems: An uninspired story that feels like a hastily put-together rehash of Okami; crushing, and I mean CRUSHING linearity and hand-holding; the same boring puzzles to solve 1000 times; an absurd amount of super-lengthy and unnecesarily drawn-out, tedious cut-scenes (I even started skipping them towards the end, which is something I usually NEVER do in games); and super-finicky and imprecise touch-controls.
In essence, Okamiden adopted all of the flaws of Okami, magnified them tenfold, added problems of its own, and stripped away almost everything of what made the first installment so great and iconic. When I first started playing, I was really excited because the art style and music and characters made me believe that I was truly getting a real sequel, more Okami, but sadly, the more I played and the more the game dragged on, the more I just wanted it to be over. In stark contrast, while playing the original, I wanted the game to go on longer and longer because I enjoyed it so much.
So, in conclusion: If there's still somebody like me out there who's a fan of the original and is wondering why they never played the "sequel", save your money. You're not going to get what you're looking and hoping for.
The only thing this game has going for it is that Chibiterasu is heart-meltingly cute. I mean it, everything he does is just adorable, from his nubby puppy legs to his movements. Other than that, it seems Capcom did everything in their power to ruin the masterpiece that was the first Okami.
Not only is the story constantly contradicting plot elements established in the first game, it's riddled with holes and focuses on some of the most annoying characters I've ever come across in a game (yes, even more than Ashley from RE5). Lucky for you, they spend a good chunk of the game riding on your back. Fun.
The battle system is lackluster, there is no way to control the camera angle and considering how well the stylus could have worked with the brush mechanic, it falls woefully short of its full potential. To boot, there is only one new town and three new dungeons in the entire game. The collection sidequest is sloppy, as there are dozens of hidden items that, once you leave that particular dungeon, are never able to be accessed again.
The rest of the scenery and music is lifted directly from the first game. This sounds good until you realize that all of the colorful cast and side quests you had encountered in the first game are nowhere to be seen. Considering only nine months have passed, it feels like a slap in the face to learn that most of the people you expected to see were lazily explained away as simply being "gone", or in some cases, dead.
As a result, the game is painfully short and insultingly shallow, with absolutely nothing new to offer for fans of the original. I recommend skipping this one entirely.
SummaryTaking place many months after the events of Okami, Okamiden follows the adventures of Chibiterasu - a young sun god who is summoned to protect and restore the land. Armed with a majestic celestial brush and a vibrant cast of partners with unique powers and abilities, this little god is ready to make its mark on the world.